Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Nun of This Nonsense"

This poem came out of the February 4, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] starbit. It fills the "Humor" square in my 2-1-20 card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence use rude humor. While the ones in Terramagne use different names, the style remains the same.


"Nun of This Nonsense"


In August of 1976,
some Roman Catholic nuns
gave their old habits to a group
of gay men to perform a parody
of The Sound of Music.

It was meant to be
a one-time thing,
but then it ... grew.

The next year, a couple
of the founding members --
Sister Mary Me and
Sister Blow Dyweth --
moved to San Francisco,
where they had a gay old time.

There they met Sister Cunstance,
who put them up to more shenanigans
and together they officially formed
the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

In 1979, three bored (and slightly stoned)
gay men dressed as nuns marched through
the streets carrying fake machine guns
and shooting bubbles at everyone.

It all went fine until a pack
of homophobes attacked them.

Then suddenly there was a --
sound -- and their attackers
fell over limp as noodles.

"You ladies need more firepower,"
said a supervillain dressed in black
with pink thigh boots. "Here, trade you."

She (or possibly he) handed Sister Mary Me
something that looked like a pink machine gun,
snatched the bubble gun in return, and ran away.

So that was how they got their first zap gun.

It wasn't the last. Apparently supervillains
liked gays a lot better than gaybashers,
and were happy to help when needed.

The Sisters began to wonder if
maybe gay men were not
the only people getting
a worse reputation than
they actually deserved.

By 1981, schools were
banning superkids, even
those just flickering.

Owing much to
their friends who
flew the black flag,
the Sisters lobbied for
inclusivity for all children.

It didn't have much effect, but
at least it gave kids hope.

In 1983, the churches tried 
to blame gays for AIDS,
so the Sisters marched
under a banner that read,
Nun of This Nonsense.

It was Sister Mary Whore-ratio
who proposed that they start
doing fundraisers for research,
which proved quite effective.

That year, a mad scientist
slipped them a device that
could read someone's status
long before any symptoms showed.

"They can't be mass-produced,
but well, it's better than nothing,"
he said. "You Sisters are in
a better position than I am
to use this effectively."

"Thank you for your help,"
said Sister Cuntstance, "but
why are you doing this?"

The mad scientist looked away.
"I lost my brother last year," he said.
"I just ... wasn't fast enough."

They weren't conventional nuns,
but the Sisters still knew how
to minister to the bereaved.

In 1986, Sister Fanny Packer
began their campaign to distribute
free condoms through restrooms in
parks, hotels, schools, and beyond.

For the Gay Pride parade that year,
the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
created a spectacular fifty-foot-long penis
covered in a condom with a pink tickler tip
(for his pleasure!) which they danced
through the streets of San Francisco
while their novices ran along beside
throwing free condoms to the crowd.

By 1989, some basic protections
were in place for superkids and
queer teens, trying to balance
everyone's safety and rights.

It wasn't perfect by a long shot,
but it was a lot better than nothing.

In 1991, with street violence rising,
the Sisters took action and trained
people to provide safe houses marked
with a rainbow decal on the window.

It was then they got their first member
who openly displayed superpowers:
Sister Hysterical Testicles was
a gender-shifter who switched
back and forth while marching.

They had to stand guard
with zap guns, but it was
worth every minute.

In 1993, the Sisters
launched ALL Hallows Eve
for queer and straight,
soup and nary alike.

They spent the evening
listening to whispers about
how this was the first time
someone actually felt safe
leaving the house, and they
didn't ask who was actually
wearing a costume or not.

In 1996, they got
an invitation to attend
Burning Man, the festival
for people with Fire Powers.

It was Sister Hot Tamale who
served medicinal brownies and
agua fresca to firebugs who forgot
to eat and drink. Sister Fanny Packer
passed out the safer sex supplies
and set up a big prayer shrine
to the goddess Fuck Yeah!

By 2000, the Millennials brought
a bump in manifestations among
toddlers and even infants.

This fanned the flames
against superpowers, and
some of the results were brutal.

It does not take a lot of dead babies
to make a culture go Blue Screen of Death,
and police shooting toddlers is bad publicity.

The Sisters raised awareness about
how superpowers can have tragic effects,
and they pressured society to search
for more constructive responses.

In 2001, the Westbord Baptist Church --
which had been protesting gays and
superpowers since 1991 -- stepped up
the virulence of its demonstrations.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
were there when a team of supervillains
attacked one of the protest rallies,
strewing injured bigots everywhere.

They hiked up their habits
and administered first aid until
ambulances arrived to take over
the mass-casualty incident.

Nobody thanked them, but
that wasn't why they did it.

With 2005 shaping up
as the warmest year
in a century, the Sisters
added climate change
to their list of concerns.

Sister Helen Earth led
the parade dressed as
a planet in a huge habit.

They raised thousands
of dollars for research
into green energy.

In 2010, a spike in
street violence let them
to refocus on safety.

This time the Sisters
reached out to the police,
who provided gay officers
in rainbow squad cars
for everyone's protection.

They'd come a long way
since those early days.

* * *

Notes:

Sister Mary Me (marry me)
Sister Blow Dyweth (Blodeuwedd)
Sister Cunstance (cunt + Constance)
Sister Mary Whore-ratio (whore + Horatio + ratio)
Sister Fanny Packer (Fanny, a girl's name; fanny = either butt or vagina; packer refers to sex, as in "fudge packer" for homosexual)
Sister Hysterical Testicles (hysterical literally means womb-crazy, whereas testicals appear on a male body)
Sister Hot Tamale (hot can mean warm, spicy, or sexy; and tamale is a food)
Sister Helen Earth (hell on Earth)

* * *

Read about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical film.

Local-America has the Westboro Baptist Church. in Kansas. Terramagne-America has the Westbord Baptist Church in California. Same hate, different place.

Burning Man is a festival that, in T-America, inevitably attracts many people with Fire Powers. In a desert, there is plenty of open space to explore superpowers without fearing that the flames could spread.

In L-America, police routinely maim and kill children, and it is not even considered a crime. America is simply okay with murdering kids. T-America holds higher standards for those who swear "to protect and serve."

According to NASA scientists, the year 2005 was the warmest year in over a century. according to NASA scientists studying temperature data from around the world. It has since been surpassed by 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019.
Tags: activism, cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, gender studies, history, humor, poem, poetry, politics, reading, weblit, writing
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